Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "Africa needs democracy". This is the message launched by associations of the African civil society gathered in the platform "Let us turn page for a democratic change in Africa", gathered in Abidjan on the sidelines of the Summit between the African Union and the European Union held in the economic capital of the Ivory Coast from 29 to 30 November (see Fides 30/11/2017).
More than 200 African public associations and movements from seven countries (Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Republic, Cameroon, Gabon and Niger) have joined "Tournons la Page" (this is his name in French), and receive help from European associations. Among these there are various Catholic associations, such as Secours catholique français or the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Republic of the Congo.
Migration emergency and security, due to the spread of terrorism in some African areas have been at the center of the Europe-Africa summit, which ended with the promise of a "strong commitment" by the leaders of both continents to block the irregular immigration and resolve emergencies arising from it, such as the slave market in Libya. To this end, African and European leaders have agreed to "invest in young people for a lasting future".
But for the participants in the forum promoted by "Tournons la Page", the promotion of a true democracy in Africa is the real theme on which we need to focus our attention.
The promises of political leaders "can be implemented only through democracy and the protection of young people who risk their lives because they are forgotten by the politicians of their Countries", says to "La Croix Afrique" Laurent Duarte, international coordinator of "Tournons la page" and member of Secours catholique. "If young people flee from their Countries it is because they do not have a stable political and economic future. African activists who struggle for democracy in many Countries are not protected from the risks that their actions entail. We want to train our 300 operators to be able to cope with threats", says Duarte. "Our fear is that the AU-EU Summit will focus only on migration and security problems", said Louise Avon, National Vice-President of Secours Catholique. "For us, peace and security for development, which allows young people to remain in their Country, pass primarily through democracy".
The interruption of democratic processes in States such as Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have provoked clashes and tensions which in turn have aggravated the economic situation and caused the flight of millions of people. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 2/12/2017)